Beterbiev’s Brutality: Decoding the Beast Through Bradley’s Breakdown of TKO of Smith

By melo - 01/14/2024 - Comments

Tim Bradley was in awe of IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev’s simple destruction of the powerful but less experienced Callum Smith last night, using skills, short punches, and quick footwork to dismantle the former WBA super middleweight champ, scoring a two-knock down, seventh-round knockout at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada.

Bradley was impressed with the simplicity of how Beterbiev dominated arguably the most powerful puncher in the 175-lb division, avoiding most of his huge bombs and working him over with jabs that were like power punches.

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In the seventh, Beterbiev connected with a right hand to the head of Smith that stunned him, setting up the first of two knockdowns. Smith never knew the shot was coming because it was so quick and unexpected from Beterbiev.

Beterbiev’s Jabbing: Smith Couldn’t Cope

The jabs that Beterbiev threw greatly damaged Smith, hurting him in the sixth and seventh.

The end of this one-sided contest in round seven when Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) knocked the challenger Smith (29-2, 21 KOs) down twice in the seventh round.

Smith’s trainer, Buddy McGirt, jumped in the ring to prevent the referee from allowing the fight to continue, as he probably would have. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:00 of round seven.

The 33-year-old Callum Smith, face badly swollen and marked up, looked despondent, like he wanted to cry. As hurt as Smith was, he may have realized this could be his final try for a world title because it would take too many years to rebuild after this loss.

Deception and Lure

“He usually uses a lot of misdirection. He didn’t have to do that tonight. He was just taking advantage of the fact that he had an inexperienced guy in there as far as skill,” said Tim Bradley to the media about Artur Beterbiev last night following his victory over Callum Smith.

Beterbiev’s use of feints and quick footwork to get in close was key as he moved past the danger area of Smith’s powerful levers. When Artur would get on the inside, he clubbed Smith with short punches that were surprisingly powerful.

The shots had a thudding sound when they landed, and he was catching on the inside and the back of his head. Smith would turn his back to avoid getting his face hit, leaving him wide open to Beterbiev’s punches to the back of his head.

“When you have the high guard, he’ll do little feints and come up and attack you when he sees the opening. You see him step back and lower his hands. He’s looking to lure you in,” said Bradley about Beterbiev. “That means he’s looking to box. So, he can look to counter over the top between shots. He’s learned that.

“The way he shoots his jab. He steps through his opponent. When he lunges in, it’s so fast and so rapid that he bumps the guy off balance. Then, when he gets on the inside, he’s mauling to get control,” said Bradley.

Beterbiev’s jabs were devasting with the way they were catching Smith, halting his forward momentum when he was going on the attack. Artur was throwing his jabs even when retreating, making it impossible for Smith to predict when he’d throw them.

Precision Over Power

“Then when he’s punching, he’s not loading up. Just short, quick, accurate on the inside. It’s tough to deal with because you don’t have a guy that’s loading up. So, it’s hard to see those shots coming.

“The problem is, Bivol has quick feet, and he stays close enough to counter you,” said Bradley about the issue Beterbiev would have to try to defeat WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol next for the undisputed championship in Saudi Arabia.

“Bivol won’t throw with power. He’ll maintain his distance just like he did with Canelo, and that’s what you got to do. You get a guy defensive, especially a guy like Beterbiev. He uses that high guard,” said Bradley.